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Cup exit cannot define season - Gerrard

ESPN staff
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No Penalty?

Steven Gerrard has told his Liverpool team-mates to make sure their controversial FA Cup exit does not derail their season.

Brendan Rodgers' side had a strong penalty claim rejected as they were knocked out of the competition by Arsenal on Sunday.

Gerrard had already scored with a spot-kick when Luis Suarez was fouled inside the area by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but referee Howard Webb waved play on.

Rodgers described it as a "blatant" penalty, while Gerrard himself called it "stonewall". But the Liverpool captain's focus is now on ensuring that the club secure a place in Champions League for the first time since 2009.

The Reds occupy fourth spot in the Premier League - the final Champions League qualification spot - but are just three points ahead of Tottenham, in fifth.

"The way we're playing at the moment, we're a match for anyone," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo. "Going forward, we look so dangerous and we are creating more than enough chances to win games.

"People are talking about us being a top side and rightly so. We need to bounce back quickly - that's what top sides do after a setback.

"They don't feel sorry for themselves, they look to the future and focus on getting back to winning ways. I know going out of the cup won't have a negative impact on the league.

"Our home form has been excellent and we need to continue that by taking maximum points at Anfield next Sunday."

Gerrard, like Rodgers, was critical of referee Webb's decision not to award a second penalty when Oxlade-Chamberlain fouled Suarez.

"In my opinion it was a stonewall penalty," he said. "It was even more blatant than the penalty which was awarded. The referee was very close to the incident. It's one you expect to get.

"Howard Webb is a top referee and I'm sure he will have a look at it himself.

"He obviously did not think it was a foul, but I am disappointed with the decision. It was a big decision that didn't go our way. That might have been the goal to give us a replay."

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